Special Report

What Your State Will Pay You to Recycle

Hristina Byrnes

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Colorado

Colorado has a bad reputation when it comes to recycling. In 2017, it recycled only 12% of its waste, compared to the national average of 34%.

However, recycling grants and rebates have been made available to lower the cost of recycling for Coloradans. Grants are disbursed for small recycling projects in need of equipment, supplies or outreach materials.

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Connecticut

Any size container will get you a 5¢ refund in Connecticut. The beverages covered under the law are beer, malt, soft drinks, and bottled water. Containers can be sealed glass, metal or plastic bottles, cans, jars or cartons. Bottles over three liters containing non-carbonated drinks and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers are excluded.

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Delaware

Due to a law change in 2010, beverage containers are no longer refundable in Delaware. But the state has adapted universal recycling to make it easy for residents. All recyclable materials can be thrown out in one container – no sorting required. The only exceptions are batteries, motor oil and oil filters. You don’t get any money back for recycling, but you can donate furniture, small appliances, toys and clothes to charity, which can be purchased for reuse.

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Florida

The Sunshine State has created a trust fund, at least 40% of which should be used for recycling and waste reduction. The money is distributed evenly among small counties with populations of fewer than 100,000 people.

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Georgia

About 40% of what Georgians throw out as regular garbage can actually be recycled. A statewide campaign provides recycling trailers to be used by local governments at special events or to be rented out for recycling use. Discounts on recycling bins are available for businesses that pledge to increase recycling at the office. A scholarship for people interested in careers in the recycling field has also been created.